Banff and Buchan MP voices concerns over lack of Scottish Government action to fight bird flu

A local MP has voiced concerns over the lack of action being taken by the Scottish Government to fight avian flu after a second outbreak was discovered in as many weeks in the north-east.

MP David Duguid worries that if nothing is done the disease with continue to spread across the NE.
MP David Duguid worries that if nothing is done the disease with continue to spread across the NE.

Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid was notified of another case in his constituency involving a flock of free-range hens at Woodhead of Laithers near Turriff.

A veterinary investigation is being carried out to establish the source and the potential spread of the disease.

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The outbreak comes just a week after cases were identified at Logie Newton Farm, just a few miles away, prompting Mr Duguid to write to rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon over concerns that livelihoods and businesses are at risk if Scotland doesn’t impose the same rules as England.

Measures to counter the spread of avian flu by keeping all poultry and captive birds indoors came into effect in England yesterday.

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But in a letter to Mr Duguid, Ms Gougeon said the Scottish Government still doesn’t believe this new case in the north-east justifies mandatory housing in Scotland.

Commenting on the situation, Mr Duguid said: “Despite another case being identified in Banff and Buchan, the Scottish Government is still choosing to not take the additional action called for by the industry.

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" I have already written to Mairi Gougeon asking what is being done to prevent the further spread of this atrocious disease but I haven’t yet received a response.

“I worry that if nothing more is done, this disease will continue to spread across the north-east which would be catastrophic for our poultry businesses as well as our butchers and farm shops.

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“NFU Scotland is also worried and has called for the rules in England to be implemented here.

“Many businesses are depending on the Christmas market but they face the prospect of losing everything if an outbreak of avian flu occurs.

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“Two cases in two weeks in my constituency alone is extremely worrying which is why I am calling on the Scottish Government to make clear what measures it is taking to ensure this alarming situation doesn’t get any worse.”